Frustrations mount as Navy says water main break repairs will likely to stretch into next week

"It's like open heart surgery. It’s a complicated site."
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 4:00 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 18, 2022 at 5:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Frustrations are mounting for thousands of families in the Pearl City Peninsula as water main break repairs aren’t expected to be fully complete until next week.

The Navy says it fixed the break that started Monday as well as the one in West Loch.

However, the main break that began late last week remains damaged.

On Tuesday, Navy officials were once again asking for patience as repairs continue. But for impacted residents, this is a headache they feel won’t go away anytime soon.

“The area that flooded, actually, a lot of the animals like the dogs and everything they come and use the bathroom right there,” said Vanessa Washington, whose backyard was flooded Monday afternoon by a break.

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“That’s a free open field, so the dogs are roaming out there using the bathroom. You could see it floating. It was really disgusting.”

In their latest update, the military said the break near Washington’s house in Pearl City Peninsula was fixed Monday night. However, repairs continue on the main break between the peninsula and McGrew Point.

The Army has lifted its boil water advisory, but the Navy’s remains because its system is much larger.

“I want to stress that it’s not like a simple water main break that is localized to one neighborhood,” said Capt. Mark Sohaney, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

“This is similar to a municipal water distribution system and I need to ensure that I can provide water to 93,000 people in our community and simultaneously maintain base operations.”

So far, no families have been displaced.

But the Navy is standing by its estimated timeline that repairs won’t be fully complete until next Tuesday.

“I just want you to know that we’re doing everything in our power to put safety first,” Sohaney added.

“Safety for our families, our community and it’s like open heart surgery. It’s a complicated site. It’s a complicated repair and I want to make sure I don’t lose water to any household.”

Many of those who live in the area have say they’ve had enough.

“These are families that work really hard,” Washington said.

“We don’t deserve to be treated this way like we have no voice and it’s sad.”

Many of the Navy’s 12 child development centers remain closed. Officials are hoping to reopen the facilities soon.

The military also stressed that this system is completely separate from Red Hill.

However, while water remain repairs are underway, the fuel unpacking at Red Hill is postponed.